By Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff
Soccer is not just a passion for Brazilians, it’s a way of life. It’s tradition. Entire industries are dedicated to the sport.
So it came as no surprise to me to walk by a booth in the House of Friendship and see people kicking a ball around. But these were no ordinary soccer balls. They’re made from high-tech indestructible rubber. You can puncture a hole in one of these balls or cut it down the middle, and it will still be playable.
Interactors from District 5170 in California, USA, are here at the House of Friendship to promote their new partnership with One World Play Project, an organization that supplies these ultra-durable balls to war-torn countries, where children often use garbage in place of a soccer ball.
In July, Interactors and Rotary members will fly to Vietnam to distribute more than 2,200 of these practically unbreakable balls to schools, playgrounds, and families. Through the project, the Interactors are bringing the transformative power of play to the children of Vietnam. It’s a chance to let the children be children.
Interactor Arthur Rodriguez said soccer was an outlet for him while growing up.
“The power of play creates happiness and change,” he said. “Soccer has pulled me out of a childhood where I wasn’t necessarily surrounded by the best of influences. I want this project do the same for the children of Vietnam.”